MLK Celebration Calendar of Events

2021 Commemorative Events Calendar

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service & Remembrance

Monday, Jan 18
1:30-3:30 pm
Community Engaged Learning

Participants will enjoy performances by Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated, JustCos Poetry, and dance ensemble, Ase Xpressions. There will also be a viewing of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream" speech followed by a conversation with Ohio State Senator Vernon Sykes and Ohio House of Representatives Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes on continuing the legacy of Dr. King, moderated by the Dean of University College, Dr. Eboni Pringle.

Finally, as part of the event, participants will be encouraged to participate in the Reading Role Models service project in collaboration with the United Way of Portage County. This project will help to bring books and the message of Dr. King to children across Portage County. 

Keynote Celebration

Thursday, Jan. 21
5:30 pm
Click here to Watch

Conversation with Dr. Cleveland Sellers Jr.

Monday, Jan. 25
Pan-African Studies
Click Here to Watch

A conversation with Dr. Sellers Jr. about his experiences in the Civil Rights Movement, his interactions with Dr. King and experiences during the Orangeburg Massacre in 1968

Women of Color Collective Meeting

Tuesday, Jan. 26
12-1:30 pm
Women of Color Collective

The Women of Color Collective (WOCC) is an employee resource group which provides a platform that aids in fostering the professional development, mental wellness, networking and personal growth of women-identifying faculty and staff of color and their allies at Kent State University. This meeting will include a joint presentation on the topic of black male privilege hosted by Lamar Hylton, PhD, Vice President, Division of Students Affairs and Todd Suddeth, PhD, Executive Director, Student Life Multicultural Center, The Ohio State University.

Martin Had A Dream, Hov Got A Team:  #BlackLivesMatter, Organizing and What We Can Learn From The Black Church

Tuesday, Jan. 26
Center for Pan African Culture

As we celebrate the legacy of Dr. King in our own scholarship, research and praxis, we invite the Kent State University campus to join us in this timely dialogue that seeks to highlight the intersections of today’s sociopolitical context, the history of organizing and role of the Black church. 

Keynote Conversationalist: Vahisha Hasan, Director of SEAL (Social justice, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership) Initiatives at American Baptist College and Executive Director of Movement In Faith

The Other Pandemic: Why Racism is a Public Health Crisis

Tuesday, Jan. 26
College of Public Health
Click Here to Watch

Many communities have declared racism a “public health crisis.”  But what does that mean?  And what does it mean specifically within the context of higher education?  Whether it’s police-involved killings, or health care discrimination settings where Black patients can’t get treatment because they’re not seen as being sick enough, or exclusionary criteria and assessments in higher education, it’s ultimately due to racism.  Join us for this virtual event to learn more about what it means to declare racism as a public health crisis, and the implications this has for academia.  Opening remarks will be followed by panel discussion of distinguished community members.

White Allyship

Wednesday, Jan. 27
Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)

Do you want to learn how to better be in solidarity with people of Color? This training explores what racism and bias are, the concept of privilege, and what allyship looks like. Participants will then identify and explore specific action steps one can take to advance racial justice. This workshop is Beyond Compliance Certified for 1.5 hours.

A Time To Break The Silence: MLK to BLM

Thursday, Jan. 28
Kent State University at Geauga 

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech entitled, "A Time to Break Silence," criticizing the United States on the Vietnam War and the continued injustices at home. He called for the nation to “rapidly shift from a ‘thing-oriented’ society to a ‘person-oriented” society. The fight for freedom and equity has made tremendous steps forward since 1967. And there is more work to be done. As we celebrate the life of Dr. King, his call to break the silence continues to resonate in 2021 with the rallying cry for Black Lives Matter. On January 28th at Noon, join Professor Evan Wade from San Joaquin Delta College and Professor Brittney Yancy from Goodwin University for a critical conversation honoring Dr. King's lasting impact and the current struggle for fairness, equity, and justice.

Understanding Race & Racism

Thursday, Jan. 28

Race and racism are significant parts of our society and shape the way it works. Participants will explore their own understandings, discuss how racism is upheld through policy and practice, and develop strategies to disrupt it. This workshop is Beyond Compliance Certified for 1.5 hours.

Student Multicultural Center's MLK Celebration

Thursday, Jan. 28
5 pm
Instagram Live: @SMCKentState

A showcase of talents from campus community members

Step Into My Story

Thursday, Jan. 28
4:30 pm
Kent State Employee Resource Groups

Members of Spectrum (LGBTQ+), Latino Networking Caucus (LNC), Pan African Faculty and Staff Association (PAFSA), Women of Color Collective (WOCC), and Kent Engaged and Emerging Professionals (KEEP) will share stories from diverse perspectives and encourage people to think differently about everyday experiences. 

There will be fun activities and great discussion. Employee Resource Groups serve faculty and staff at Kent State University and promote a culture of diversity and inclusion among employees. Students, faculty, and staff are welcome to attend this event.

Gandhi, MLK, Advocacy and Social Change

Friday, Jan. 29
12-2 pm
Pan-African Studies & DEI

This Teach-in will look at the philosophy of MLK's advocacy for social change and his impact on local actors in the Civil Rights Movement as they attempted to address issues around economic and social justice. Meeting ID: 999 8859 8481 / Passcode: 845105. Facilitated by 

George Garrison, Emeritus Professor, Kent State
Uma Krishnan, Professor, English, Kent State
Elizabeth Smith, Associate Professor, History, Kent State

Film Friday

Friday, Jan. 29
2 pm
LGBTQ+ Center

Join us for a virtual showing and discussion around an anti-racist film (Film TBD).